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EMPOWERING ANKYLOSAURS



Mickey Mortimer wrote:
<<Secondly, many ornithischians were probably omnivorous, including
lesothosaurs, basal theyreophorans, hypsilophodonts, heterodontosaurs, and
pachycephalosaurs.>>


To which, David Marjanovic asks:
<<Why?>>

Well David, this is not entirely certain one way or the other.  No skeletal
remains of any ornithischian has been published that I know of that shows
that these animals ever ate anything but plants.  

Does that mean that I think that they only ate plants?  On this point, I have
to agree with Mickey and say maybe they ate both.  The teeth of basal
ornithischians were not really modified terribly modified from those of their
carnivorous ancestors.  Ornithischians didn't really get truly modified
crushing batteries, except in Iguanodontia and Neoceratopia.  

You might also note, as Holtz and others have noted, the teeth of
Saurornithoidids are markedly similar to those in basal ornithischians in
being rather triangular/leaf shaped with large denticles.

Though I doubt that ankylosaurids ran around terrorizing dromaeosaurids with
their bite of death, I think it's entirely reasonable to think that
Heterodontosaurus may have eaten a lizard or two.

Pete Buchholz
tetanurae@aol.com

"We'll have solar power with Exxon owns the sun."